Positioning is a concept that has changed the advertising domain. The simplicity of brand positioning makes people underestimate the importance of brand positioning.
Today’s marketplace is no longer responsive to the strategies that worked in the past. The brand positioning strategy that worked for Ford in the 1970s won’t work in 2019.
There are too many products, too many companies, and too much marketing noise.
The per capita consumption of advertisements in America in the 1980s was $200. Fast forward to 2019; the number jumps to over $600.
Yes, inflation does count. But take into factor the digital era. The cost of advertising has far diminished in the digital age.
In the 1980s setting up a tv advertisement used to cost from $100,000 to $10 million. In 2019, a pay-per-click ad cost about $1 per user.
In the 1980s, a national magazine ad campaign used to cost $400,000. In 2019, a national e-mail advertising campaign cost about $20,000.
You can see where I am going here.
If you invest $10 million in advertising in 2019, you will add 33 cents to the already existing $600 per capita consumption.
The bitter truth, even with a $10 million investment in 2019, is very likely that you will not make an impact in the minds of your target audience.
What is brand positioning?
Brand positioning starts with your products or services.
But it is not what you do with your products or services. It is what emotions your effects invoke in the minds of your prospective customers.
It is how you differentiate your products or services for your target markets and potential customers.
Positioning changed how advertising worked in the 1980s. Not much has changed in 2019. The basic idea remains the same. How you connect a thought or an emotion or anything abstract with your brand.
Adventure. Wings. Red.
Yes, I just painted the picture of Redbull. They are one of the few companies that have cracked the positioning code. As long as people consume energy drinks, Redbull is likely to stay put.
Here are a few reasons why you need to consider positioning your brand.
There is a theory in psychology known as the paradox of choices.
The story began with a jam. In early 2000, psychology experimenters Mark Lepper and Sheena carried out a remarkable social experiment.
They presented 24 varieties of gourmet jam at an upscale shopping mall. They presented the people who had sampled the jam with a $1 coupon.
They did the same thing on another day, but this time with only six varieties of jam.
People sampling from the larger table were 1/10th as likely to purchase as compared with the smaller table.
Consumers want to make a quick decision without going through various options. To efficiently exploit this data, you have two options in hand
Get into a market with relatively less competition or create an effective brand.
With an effective brand, it becomes easier for your prospects to purchase your products. With proper brand positioning, you will likely trigger an emotional response and produce an “impulse buy reaction”.
2. Competing on Value rather than Price
Irrespective of the target markets of your product, you need to clarify what values you are bringing to the table.
With proper brand positioning, you are selling your customer's values and not just products or services. This will help you create a positive outlook from customers and make the alternatives seem less valuable.
Small businesses are vulnerable when competing on the pricing table.
Unless you have a striking innovation, you most probably cannot compete with the industry giants on pricing.
The key here will be creating value for your products or services.
Without effective brand positioning, you have nothing to offer other than uncertainty.
3. Brand Positioning Creates Market Differentiation
Look at the current market. With thousands of on-shelf and off-shelf products, the marketing noise is unbearable.
Even with an investment of $10 million, you are making a dent of 33 cents to the present $600 per capita consumption.
This doesn't even scratch the surface, let alone make a dent.
To make some impact, you need to differentiate your product. That is where the importance of brand positioning comes into the picture.
Brand positioning helps you explain to your prospects and target audience why your ideas and products or services are different.
4. Designing becomes more impactful
A good design should tell a great story. It must reflect and represent the core values of your business. This is not possible without a proper understanding of positioning. It would help if you positioned your brand to help it tell a story.
Would you incorporate your designs without considering your competition?
You wouldn’t pick any color or design without considering your competition. This is possible from the lessons learned from positioning.
In the present digital age, you must integrate digital ideas into your design. Moreover, there are various factors you need to consider when you are transforming to the "digital position" of your brand. You should be aware of how social media is influencing brand positioning. Your UX ( User experience) and UI( User experience) should also factor in your brand positioning strategy.
5. Amplifying your message and story
One of the key points of brand positioning is that it helps you identify your brand's image and ideas.
You cannot write an autobiography without knowing yourself, right? It is impossible to channel your marketing efforts in the proper direction without having a clear idea of your brand position in a very similar fashion.
Without understanding your brand's position, you will not be able to communicate effectively with your target markets.
Understanding how to position your brand helps you effectively communicate, leading to the justification of pricing strategies.
When you are effectively able to communicate your brand's idea to your target market, it will justify the position of your brand and your competitor.
Positioning is a powerful tool that helps your brand thrive under an ultra-competitive atmosphere. Not only does it drive immediate results but also sustains those.
By establishing a powerful brand position, you make your business future-proof(at least to some extent). It helps to drive growth and build a resilient player in the market, enough to survive the shifts in the market.
When you position your brand, you not only position it in the marketplace but also in the subconscious of your prospects.